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A new Aussie Rules team for me?
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by @betdetective

I’ve been thinking about writing this blog post for a few weeks and with Essendon playing St Kilda this Sunday, now seems as good a time as any to get this off my chest.


So why am I even considering barracking for a new team? 

Here’s the deal…


I moved to Queensland, Australia from London, England in November of 2010 and in the March of the following year found myself in Melbourne on business. Whilst there I met someone who worked for the AFL who told me there was match on that very night at Etihad Stadium. I had no idea if it was the Grand Final or what it turned out to be, a NAB Cup pre season match between Essendon and St Kilda.


I went to the match on my own but was staying in Melbourne with an Aussie couple i met in London and their place was in St Kilda so I was going to be a St Kilda fan, for the night at least. 


Coincidently, the date of the match, 4th March 2011, is the date i joined Twitter and the Tweets below were some of my very first and give you some insight as to how my evening went.




off to watch my first Aussie Rules match. St Kilda v Essendon. Come on you Saints!



Some people are on the pitch. Not sure if the game’s started yet… 



 This Aussie rules is alright! The refs keep sprinting in indiscriminate directions though



1st ever match but Essendon 50/1 thrashing St Kilda 6/1 is enough for a few bob on the Bombers to win the league!




I turned up at the game as a St Kilda fan and left as a Bombers fan. The two players I identified as the best on the pitch were Leroy Jetta and Tom Bellchambers (what a judge!), I had backed the Bombers to win the Flag by the time i left the Stadium and when I got back to my mate’s place I watched the whole game again on the TV. 



Screenshot 2016-07-08 19.06.53


Screenshot 2016-07-08 19.06.15



I’m a sucker for most sports and I was well and truly hooked. 



The reason I felt I couldn’t follow St Kilda was the on field attitude of Brendon Goddard who appeared to growl and scream at the young Saints players for the entire game. I had no idea Goddard was coming off perhaps his best ever season as a key member of the Saints team defeated in a twice played Grand Final by Collingwood. The irony was not lost on me when he signed for the Bombers.


Screenshot 2016-07-08 19.05.50


So from that point on for the next couple of years I was as big a Bombers fan as an Englishman in Queensland could be. I travelled to consecutive Anzacs Day games at the MCG and really enjoyed supporting a team i could watch on the TV as much as anything else. I’m a Torquay United fan in the round ball game back home and TV matches live or otherwise only happen approximately every couple of years for them. I did follow Nottingham Forest as a kid too but gravitated more to my home town club, Torquay, as I got older. 




Then the Essendon drugs scandal happened and as it dragged on and on, with James Hird embarrassing himself and the Football Club on a seemingly weekly basis along the way, my new found love for the Bombers got completely soured and maybe this says more about me than the Bombers but I felt that i just couldn’t and didn’t want to cheer on a team that was so full of not only peptides but also vast amounts of shit, notably at the very top. 




So the big question – or questions – are these:



Can you even change your team? 



I’ve always previously believed that your team picks you and not the other way round. It’s like a nickname. You don’t get to choose. It happens to you at a young age, usually influenced by an older relative taking you to a match. But…i’m in my 40’s for heaven’s sake and my Dad has already done the damage with his love for Torquay Utd. 



For argument’s sake – and i’m not decided at all – lets say i will choose another team.



Who should it be? It’s not like i have a local team to support.


I don’t know and all suggestions will be appreciated!



ps. apologies for the self indulgent nature of this post


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